Correlation between expressions of hypoxia -inducible factor (HIF-1α), blood vessels density, cell proliferation, and apoptosis intensity in canine fibromas and fibrosarcomas

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Abstract

The study aimed to demonstrate the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1α) in soft tissue mesenchymal tumours (fibroma and fibrosarcoma) in dogs. An attempt was made to correlate the obtained results with density of blood vessels (expression of von Willebrand Factor, vWF), expression of Ki-67 proliferation antigen, and with intensity of apoptosis in studied tumours. The study was performed on paraffin sections of 15 fibromas and 40 fibrosarcomas sampled from 55 female dogs aged 6 to 16 years. Immunohistochemical staining against HIF-1α, vWF, and Ki-67 was performed. Apoptosis was detected with the use of TUNEL reaction. A significantly higher HIF-1α expression was noted in fibrosarcomas in comparison to fibromas (P < 0.0001). HIF-1α expression in fibromas manifested strong positive correlation with tumour vascularity (r = 0.67, P = 0.007). Moreover, HIF-1α expression in fibrosarcomas manifested a moderate positive correlation with tumour malignancy grade (r = 0.44, P = 0.004), tumour vascularity (r = 0.52, P < 0.001), Ki-67 antigen expression (r = 0.42; P = 0.007), and TUNELpositive cells (r = 0.37, P = 0.017). Expression of HIF-1α was detected in 86.7% of fibroma type tumours and in 100% of fibrosarcomas. In all studied tumours expression of HIF-1α manifested positive correlation with the density of blood vessels, and in fibrosarcomas it correlated also with malignancy grade, intensity of Ki-67 expression, and with intensity of apoptosis in tumour cells.

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